In First Military Response To Israel Attack, US Navy Warship Destroys Multiple Missiles Fired From Iran-Backed Militants
The Pentagon has confirmed that the USS Carney successfully intercepted three land attack missiles and multiple drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen.
WASHINGTON: In a dramatic turn of events, a US Navy warship deployed in the Middle East thwarted a barrage of missiles fired by Iranian-backed Houthi militants near the coast of Yemen on Thursday. This marks a significant moment as it is the first time in recent history that a US Navy ship in the Middle East has taken defensive action against missiles and drones not directly targeted at the vessel.
First US Military Response To Israel Attack
What sets this incident apart is that it's also the first instance of US military involvement to protect Israel in the current crisis. As the U.S. and other nations work to defuse the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, the possibility that an Iranian-backed proxy group launched missiles and drones toward Israel is undoubtedly exacerbating regional tensions.
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed in a press conference that the USS Carney successfully intercepted three land attack missiles and multiple drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen. He emphasized that this action demonstrated the integrated air and missile defence capabilities established in the Middle East to safeguard regional partners and U.S. interests. Fortunately, there were no casualties among U.S. forces or civilians on the ground.
At this point, the Pentagon cannot definitively state the intended targets of the intercepted missiles and drones. However, these projectiles, launched from Yemen and moving north along the Red Sea, were potentially heading toward Israeli targets.
Who Are The Houthis?
The Houthi militants are a Shiite movement with Iranian backing, holding significant control over northern Yemen. They've been embroiled in a conflict with a Saudi-led coalition since 2015. In the course of this conflict, the Houthis have frequently launched missiles and drones into Saudi Arabia. Notably, the missiles intercepted on Thursday were not aimed at Saudi targets.
Last week, Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi warned that if the U.S. directly intervened in the Gaza conflict, his group would respond by deploying drones and missiles, among other military actions. This incident comes amidst a series of drone attacks targeting U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq, further escalating tensions in the region.
Rising Attacks On US Bases
In Syria, drone attacks on a U.S. base resulted in minor injuries. On Wednesday, two drones targeted the al-Tanf garrison, where U.S. and anti-ISIS coalition forces are stationed, with one drone destroyed and another causing minor injuries. Additionally, on Tuesday, U.S. forces defended against three drones near U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Two of these drones targeted the al-Asad airbase, causing minor injuries to coalition forces, while another drone was destroyed near Bashur airbase in northern Iraq, causing no injuries or damage.
Conflict In Gaza, West Bank
Amidst these developments, Israeli raids are ongoing in various parts of the occupied West Bank. More than 850 arrests have been carried out by Israeli forces in the Palestinian territory since the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel. Israel's recent bombardment of Gaza, as reported by the UN, resulted in the deaths of 307 Palestinians within a 24-hour period, bringing the death toll to 3,785 since the start of Israel's campaign, including at least 1,524 children and 1,444 women.
The true death toll in Gaza may be even higher, with many victims still buried under the rubble of buildings decimated during the Israeli offensive, which is approaching its second week.